HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -
Starting next year, high school athletes who transfer to an Oahu Interscholastic Association school will have to sit out a season before they can play their sport.
"If they played say football at a school and they transfer to another school, whether they move in that complex area or not, they become ineligible to participate," OIA executive director Raymond Fujino said.
If a student plays multiple sports and transfers, they'll be sidelined a season for each of them. Mililani High School football coach Rod York said parents will have to weigh the cost of pulling their kid out of one school to transfer to another.
"When I became head coach, two kids transferred out of here and played at Leilehua. The thing for us is we can't control that. The parents are going to do what they want to do," he said.
Before this football season began, Farrington High School lost six players to transfers. Head coach Randall Okimoto welcomes the transfer rule.
"I think it prevents kids from quitting their program and then sticking with whatever commitment they made," he said.
For years, accusations have been made of powerhouse programs recruiting players.
"I think this rule would be a wait and see," Fujino said. "If the number of transfers decreases after this rule takes place then we would have data that showed that a lot of these students were transferring in fact for athletic purposes."
Principals voted 19-4 for the transfer rule. The OIA estimates about 15,000 teenagers play sports in its 23 schools. A family will be able to request the rule be waived for their child. Those requests will be handled on a case-by-case basis. The new rule will also apply to student athletes who play at the junior varsity level.